The Brazilian Multiple Sclerosis Association (ABEM) estimates that approximately 35 million people have multiple sclerosis in the country.
Fortunately, patients can count on some medications that bring more quality of life, such as Ocrevus.
What is Ocrevus Roche?
Ocrevus is a biological medicine manufactured by Roche and used by intravenous infusion. This means that the medication is administered in the patient’s vein and, therefore, should always be applied in a hospital environment by trained professionals.
It is prescribed for the treatment of recurrent or primary progressive multiple sclerosis.
The mechanism of action of this drug is not fully known, but it is believed that Ocrevus binds to the CD20 receptor (a protein present in all cells of the immune system).
By making this connection, the drug is able to modulate the action of the person’s immune system and thus prevent further self-attacks.
People with allergic reactions to Ocrelizumab and other compounds present in the Ocrevus formula or who have had adverse reactions to the infusion of such a drug should not use it.
Ocrevus has not been tested on patients under the age of 18 and over the age of 65. Therefore, these age groups should not receive any administration of the drug.
Pregnant women, breastfeeding women and women who are trying to conceive should talk to the doctor who accompanies the treatment to see if the medicine is safe or not.
Another detail that is important is in relation to vaccination. All necessary vaccines must be taken up to 6 months before starting treatment with Ocrevus.
This is because, during treatment, they can have their effects reduced or canceled.
Before receiving Ocrevus administration will also be necessary to do a test to confirm the presence or absence of Hepatitis B . If the result is positive, treatment for multiple sclerosis should be postponed.
Indication: what is the medicine Ocrevus for?
This medication is indicated for the treatment of recurrent multiple sclerosis (EMR). Ocrevus can still be recommended by medical professionals to treat cases of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (EMPP).
Learn a little more about the disease that Ocrevus treats:
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease, that is, when the body attacks itself.
It affects the melanin sheath (which surrounds neurons), which makes synapses more difficult and consequently prevents the commands of the central nervous system to reach the muscles.
Unfortunately, MS still has no cure. The forms of treatment aim to prevent the progression of the disease and help the patient to recover after crises.
Symptoms include pain, dizziness, tremors, numbness or stiffness in the limbs.
How does the package insert indicate to apply?
One of the main recommendations of the package insert is to apply the medication in a hospital environment and under the supervision of a medical team.
Ocrevus should not be given as an injection or as an intravenous bolus (when the drug is administered extremely quickly to increase its concentration in the blood at once).
The drug should also be diluted with 0.9% sodium chloride.
The initially recommended dosage is 600mg which should be divided between 2 doses of 300mg with an interval of 2 weeks.
That is, if the person received 300mg in week 1, he should receive the rest (300mg) in week 4.
After this initial dose, a single dose of 600mg should be administered every 6 months.
If one of these sessions is missed or missed, a new appointment should be made as soon as possible, and it is not recommended to wait until the next dose.
What are the side effects of the substance Ocrelizumab?
The package insert separates adverse reactions according to the disease treated (recurrent multiple sclerosis and progressive primary multiple sclerosis). But there are side effects common to both cases, such as the reduction of antibodies and neutrophils, in addition to infusion reactions.
Know what are the side effects that can happen in each of these situations:
Recurrent Multiple Sclerosis (EMR)
When treatment is for Recurrent Multiple Sclerosis, Ocrevus can cause:
- Respiratory infections;
- Pain in the back and extremities;
- Herpes infections.
Primary progressive multiple sclerosis
If Ocrevus is recommended to treat primary progressive multiple sclerosis, it can cause reactions such as:
- Diarrhea ;
- Respiratory infections;
- Skin or Herpes infections;
- Swelling in the lower limbs (peripheral edema).
Infusion reactions are those that happen while the person is being medicated and are caused by the situation of the administration and not only by the medicine. These adverse effects are more common in the first applications, generally reducing the occurrence over administrations.
The most common are:
- Redness in the skin;
- Drop in blood pressure ;
- Headache and at the application site;
- Dizziness ;
- Lack of air;
- Sensation of swelling in the throat;
- Motion sickness;
- Acceleration of heart rate.
What is the price of Ocrevus 300mg?
A box with 1 vial of 10ml Ocrevus 300mg can be priced between R $ 33,400 to R $ 47,250. *
* Prices consulted in April 2020. Prices may change.
Is Ocrevus registered with ANVISA?
The National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) approved Ocrevus in February 2018. The pharmaceutical company Roche can produce this medicine until 2028. After that time, other laboratories will also be able to handle Ocrelizumab (active ingredient of Ocrevus) and produce similar or generic medicines.
Is Ocrelizumab part of the SUS or the ANS List?
The answer to the first question is no: the Unified Health System (SUS) does not provide the active substance Ocrelizumab.
In relation to the second question, the answer is also no: this medication is also not included in the list of the National Health Agency (ANS).
What is the ANS Rol?
It is a document that is valid throughout the national territory and defines the minimum mandatory coverage of health plans.
That is, all exams, procedures and medications that are on this list defined by the ANS must be offered by any health plan, regardless of the amount paid or the company that offers this service.
In the case of multiple sclerosis, the ANS list provides for the person to be provided with the substance called Natalizumab (active ingredient of Tysabri ).
How to budget Ocrevus?
If the person needs Ocrevus and does not have the financial means to purchase the drug, he or she must file a lawsuit for the State to provide such a remedy.
You will need the assistance of a lawyer and some documents such as a medical report that proves the need for the drug and a budget with at least 3 drugstores that market the medicine.
To make a budget for Ocrevus, you can count on the Consultancy Remedies Advisory program.
Just access the link and fill in the fields with your personal data. Within a few hours, our team will send you a complete and personalized quote for your case.
Ocrevus is a drug indicated for the treatment of recurrent or primary progressive multiple sclerosis.
Its application is intravenous and therefore, the administration of doses should be done in hospitals or clinics and under the supervision of a health professional.
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